Boys Basketball: Hot-handed Hawks deal Wingers a loss
Through the first 10 games of the season, Red Wing has been one of the stingiest defenses in Class 3A, holding teams to 49.1 points per game.
But on Friday, the Wingers had to give credit where credit was due: Chaska came into Sonju Gymnasium and put on a shooting clinic in a 71-68 Missota Conference victory.
“They shot well tonight,” said Wingers forward Isaac Toivonen. “First half we kind of struggled matching up with them … we kind of struggled all game, actually, matching up with their shots.”
As a team, the Hawks shot 47 percent from the field (23 of 48), including 10 of 25 from 3-point range.
“I’m sure they don’t shoot like that every game, but they were shooting well tonight and we just didn’t adjust like we should have,” Isaac Toivonen said.
The duo of guard Jacob Hansen and forward Eric West had 20 and 25 points, respectively.
“It was very frustrating. We’ve been playing good defense all year … and Chaska came down and shot the lights out,” said Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen. “You have to give them a lot of credit. Shooting 10 of 25 from three, that’s pretty good in someone else’s gym.”
With four minutes left in the game, Chaska looked ready to take one from the fifth-ranked (3A) Wingers, holding a 62-57 lead. But Isaac Toivonen wasn’t ready to concede the game to the Hawks. Toivonen scored the Wingers’ next nine points, including a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining to cut Chaska’s lead to one, 67-66.
“I got a good pass and I had a pretty wide-open shot,” Isaac said. The senior forward led Red Wing with 24 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. He also had seven rebounds.
“If someone’s going to give me that shot, I’ll take it,” Isaac added. “I know I didn’t shoot like that in the first half, so it was nice to have that go in.”
As the Hawks looked to respond, the Wingers got the ball back in dramatic fashion as Travis Toivonen drew a foul, giving Red Wing the ball with 57 seconds remaining.
Trying to take their first lead since the first half, the Wingers pushed the ball inside, hoping senior guard Jon Sevlie could get to the hoop. But with 39 seconds left, Sevlie was charged with traveling. The violation was the lone check mark against Sevlie, who finished the game with 15 points.
“We looked to attack the basket and (Chaska) did a good job collapsing,” Doug Toivonen said. “They had 10 team fouls, so we had a chance to get to the line and (Sevlie) slipped in that extra step.”
On its ensuing possession, Chaska went up by three after a pair of free throws by Hansen. Then after a missed 3-pointer by Nick Powers, the Hawks put the game out of reach when Peyton Sanders went 2-for-2 from the line with 8.6 remaining.
“Every time they thought they would knock us down, we’d hit a big shot and keep hanging on,” Doug Toivonen said. “What you want is a chance to win at the end. We had that and just weren’t able to finish.”
Red Wing stuck with Chaska shooting-wise, hitting 45 percent of its shots (23 of 48), including 8 of 18 from 3-point range. Ben Miller had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Travis Toivonen had six points and three rebounds, helping the Wingers deal with the loss of Ty Buck, who said he will miss four to six weeks with a broken foot.
While Friday’s loss was tough, the Wingers (9-2) have little time to dwell on it as they hit the road today for a Section 1AAA matchup at Kasson-Mantorville.
“It’ll be a bounce-back game for us,” Doug Toivonen said. “This is our third back-to-back game of the year, and I think after playing last week on Friday and Saturday (in Owatonna), the kids will have a better idea of what to do. I know we’ll be ready to go (on Saturday).”